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Vietnam needs to reap benefit from FTAs

Free trade agreements are expected to help bring foreign direct investment into Vietnam. Firms with FDI have an advantage in low cost price, competitive selling price and stable material source. Most Vietnamese companies do not have these advantages. The biggest difficulty they face is a shortage of raw material, putting them in possibly severe competition in material origin rules as per FTA commitments.

Most FDI backed companies in garments and textiles follow closed production process from materials to finished products, design and distribution. Local firms must improve themselves in both business thought and ways. Authorised agencies need to work with associations to issue policies encouraging enterprises to transfer from processing into export under free on board term, original design manufacturers or original brand manufacturers.

Vietnam should have a high determination to develop into a fashion hub of Southeast Asia in future, feel experts. There should be policies to promote equipment manufacturing for the support industry, including those in fiber production lines, dyeing, and chemicals for wastewater treatment. There should be a basis for local firms to exploit opportunities and tax incentives. These policies will work to reduce cost price of support products. Customs and tax procedures should be reformed.